2015 is the best year to be a product manager. It’s the year that UX will be much more important than any bit or byte. Wanna know why? (keep reading…)
Let’s start with a quiz. Pick up your phone (the smart one), scan all your apps, find your favorite most often used apps. Now think – does this app have a real life equivalent? Is this app just making a process better and faster? Or does it really change the core experience?
Assuming you didn’t choose Candy crash (or any other game for that matter) the answer is – Holy s**t, all the apps I use are just a better process to the same procedure in the offline world. Let me walk you through it – Email – thats easy – people used mail since writing was invented, even CC is named after Carbon Copy – that carbon paper that would copy everything you write to a paper under that carbon paper (BCC stands for blind carbon copy) email is the same process we are used to, just faster, easier and more efficient. How about instagram – Making photos look better and sharing it? did someone say 1960 scrapbook? Whatsapp – Remember how we use to throw small pieces of paper to our friends at school? Snapchat? remember how we asked our friends to destroy it after? you get the point – everything we do online is just a better way to do something we used to do offline.
Assuming this is right, what’s so different now? The answer is hidden in history. In the 1980s the PC was introduced to humanity. In the beginning no one thought that it will be in every home by 2000 and in every pocket by 2015. What was the biggest challenge? Experience. The Mac changed everything we know because of the introduction of the graphical user interface (GUI) and the Mouse and keyboard. That invention allowed a big portion of society to use the computer and start advantage of its benefits.
In the late 1990 internet started a whole new revolution, the combination between the internet and the computer as the interface started a new chapter in the way we do stuff, from communicating to gaining knowledge, the internet changed it all.
The growth was rapid, the Holy Trinity (screen, keyboard and mouse) helped humanity reach different levels of knowledge. The experience was becoming better – chips became faster and cheaper and the computer became a commodity.
In 2007 The next revolution of the internet experience was introduced by the iPhone, The iPhone did change everything, first of all it changed the experience how we consume the internet, then it changed everything else. In iPhone OS 1.0 (iOS was introduced later) everything was based on the concept of Skeuomorph look and feel, it means that all the apps looked and felt like their lifelike equivalent – Notes looked like yellow notepads, reminders looked like a list of tasks you hang on the fridge, the calendar had the same look as a real life calendar and so on.
So, what does all this history have to do with the fact that 2015 will be awesome for Product managers? It took apple 7 years to change the premise of skeuomorph to Flat design. Since September 2013 (when iOS 7 was released) people need to change the way they use their phone. It wasn’t that big of a change, but it really was. The experience revolution has began and now we can take it to the next step.
The latest Mary meeker report clearly stated that bad UI is dead. In 2014 Google changed its design strategy moving to material design. The users are ready for the better, more advanced experience. The game is changing again, it’s time to take advantage of this change in conception and take the experience to the next level. Think about the possibilities that wearable technologies are giving us, the Holy Trinity will change in 2015 – goodbye screen, keyboard and mouse – say hello to screen finger and gestures. Add to that the watch, phone, glasses, tablet and laptop and think about all the possibilities to take something we always did, and make it better.
That is why 2015 will be the year where experience will matter more than looks, it will change the way we do things, it will make it smarter and faster. We will make it better.